Sunday, March 4, 2018

Windows Monitoring in 2018 - BMC TrueSight Pulse

 This is the first part in a series for my evaluation of Windows monitoring tools.

You can review the original blog post here: Windows Monitoring in 2018

Today's featured offering is BMC TrueSight Pulse

Summary

"BMC TrueSight Pulse" is described as "Real time monitoring-as-a-service for web applications". The tools appears to be previously owned by a company called Boundary, as some of the documentation is labeled as such. Here's a really badly voiced over video that serves as an overview.



Given my features, here's what stacks up and what's lacking.

Pros

  • SaaS agent is lightweight and easy to install on Windows.
  • Integrations are done via plugin, which makes the agent light weight.
  • Cloud monitoring is supported on both AWS and Azure.
    • VM and SQL monitoring only for Azure.
  • Virtually no delays. Alerting can be done in as little as 1 second - data shows in the portal almost instantly and refreshes in real time.
  • The dashboards look beautiful.
  • Data appears to be kept for 4 months, which isn't great, but it's better than some tools.
  • End user experience monitoring, similar to NewRelic browser is included.
  • You can pull in custom performance counters and WMI with the Meter agent.
  • Really good introductory videos on the documentation website.
  • Integrates with Slack, PagerDuty, VictorOps, OpsGenie, etc. 
  • The agents or meters can be configured to send data to BMC's log analytics platform or TrueSight Intelligence.

Cons

  • Out of the box functionality is below average, for example, a plugin must be setup and targeted to get simple Disk usage. 
  • Plugins have different dependency requirements on the endpoint, for instance, node.js or python, which are most likely not installed if you're supporting Windows servers.
  • No automatic setup of monitoring with plugins, it appears to be a very manual process.
  • You must individually add devices to filters if they don't have the same naming collection.
  • Multi-tenant is clunky, it appears you must make separate accounts for each customer and jump between them.
  • There is a plugin for doing web tests, however there is no external webtesting option.

Final thoughts

BMC TrueSight Pulse is an exciting platform that I think could be really useful for some people in the digital age. However with there being basic limitations i'm not sure how well the product can scale. For example, creating monitors for specific processes, disk usage, and HTTP checks are a manual process, which isn't very condusive to an agile approach.

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